Self-incompatibility has been studied extensively at the molecular level in Solanaceae, Rosaceae and Scrophulariaceae, all of which exhibit gametophytic self-incompatibility controlled by a single polymorphic locus containing at least two linked genes, i.e., the S-RNase gene and the pollen-expressed SFB/SLF (S-haplotype-specific F-box/S-locus F-box) gene. However, the SFB gene in Japanese plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.) has not yet been identified. We determined eight novel sequences homologous to the SFB genes of other Prunus species and named these sequences PsSFB. The gene structure of the SFB genes and the characteristic domains in deduced amino acid sequences were conserved. Three sequences from 410 to 2,800 bp of the intergenic region between the PsSFB sequences and the S-RNase alleles were obtained. The eight identified PsSFB sequences showed S-haplotype-specific polymorphism, with 74-83% amino acid identity. These alleles were exclusively expressed in the pollen. These results suggest that the PsSFB alleles are the pollen S-determinants of GSI in Japanese plum.
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